Monday, May 31, 2021

Sweden Extends Entry Ban, But Lifts Restrictions for Nordic Countries

The Swedish Government has decided to lift entry restrictions for travellers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway, while it has extended the entry restrictions on travellers from the rest of the European Union and the European Economic Area, and the entry ban on travellers from third countries to June 30.

The decision has been announced by the Ministry of Justice, which in a press release noted that the entry restrictions for the Nordic countries would be lifted today, on May 31.

The Government has decided to maintain the entry ban to Sweden for travel from third countries, i.e. outside the EU/EEA. The entry ban on travel from EU/EEA countries, which involves a ban against entering Sweden unless a negative COVID-19 test result can be presented, will also be extended. However, the Nordic countries will be exempted from the entry restrictions as of May 31,” the press release explains.

The extension of the entry ban for arrivals from third countries has been carried out in line with the EU recommendation, and primarily due to the continued uncertainty concerning infection.

The decision has been supported by Sweden’s Public Health Agency, which asserts that entry restrictions should remain in place for travellers from outside the EU and the Schengen Area, as in these countries, COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been slow.

The agency also notes that the epidemiological situation in many third countries regarding transmission and virus mutation of particular importance is more difficult to evaluate.

Further, the press release announcing the decision notes that the removal of entry restrictions for arrivals from Nordic countries is the first step towards the reopening of travel to Sweden, adding that entry restrictions for arrivals from the rest of the EU/EEA should be scaled back cautiously and gradually in order to reduce the risk of a setback that would make new restrictions necessary again.

Opening up for travel in the Nordic region is the first step in the opening of travel to and from Sweden, which must be done gradually and responsibly. At the same time, the Government is maintaining a close dialogue with the Public Health Agency of Sweden,” the Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg said in this regard.

Due to the new updates in the list of countries that are subject to entry restrictions, starting from May 31, arrivals from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway no longer need to present negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival in Sweden.

The requirement, however, remains effective for arrivals from the rest of the EU and Schengen Area countries, at least until June 30.

The entry ban on travel to Sweden from third countries, on the other hand, is set to remain effective at least until August 31, 2021.

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